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Fringe SharePoint Continued

The common question as a SharePoint consultant and developer is, "Should we use SharePoint or not?. I was faced with that decision this week and I thought I would share it.

 I am working with a solution that involves an ASP.Net Application being connected to SharePoint that was being used as the document management piece of the solution. The Asp.Net application had a feature that created a project. Part of creating a project required creating a document library in SharePoint as part of that creation of the project. Since I have blogged about my challenges with this solution I will be brief and just say that a WCF service was put together to create a document library . The issue is here is that the Document library was created from a custom template that included custom content types. An administrator was creating workflows for the content types as the root level of the site that were not being updated in the newly created document libraries.

 So, one of the tasks that I had to do was make sure the workflows were being updated on the 'child' content types included in the template. The ASP.Net application called code I put together to connect to the WCF service to create the project, but if I included the Update Content Type actions in the call it would just take too long and time out. My options were to increase the Timeout period of the WCF service or to figure out a way to run the code asynchronously.

 Naturally I thought about 2 ways to do this: 1) let the client (ASP.Net Application) make an Asynchronous call to update the content types, or 2) write a SharePoint Event Receiver, on a List Created. If you want to do the first, you can wite a WCF service to expose methods asynchronously or you can actually make Asynchronous calls from the client. Follow this MSDN article for more details.

I ended up using the article and choosing an Asynchronous call from the client instead of an event receiver. My reasoning is that I would let the client call this for selected document libraries, than an event receiver for every document library created. I already had the WCF service up and running for several "integration points" so all it required was an asynchronous call from the client. It would take me longer to get the event receiver up and running than to just have an async call from the client.

 Just because you can use SharePoint, you don't always need to use it. SharePoint is mentioned as a "Platform", the 2010 product has many features that make SharePoint, truly a platform. This is one of those classic examples in which you weight out if one of the features in SharePoint would make your life easier or not, all depending on the situation.

Posted on Sunday, November 7, 2010 5:40 PM SharePoint , Development | Back to top

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